COLOMBO (News 1st) – Cabinet Spokesperson Minister (Dr.) Rajitha Senaratne expressed his views on the statement made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the latter’s absence during the debate in Parliament on the exposé carried by the New York Times. The Minister also responded to the former President’s challenge over the failure to secure the return of former Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendranran.
While noting that the New York Times matter and Arjuna Mahendran are two separate issued Dr. Senaratne noted that there is no difference in the crimes committed by Arjuna Mahendran and Udayanga Weeratunege. He went onto note that a red notice was issued for the arrest of Weeratunge well before Mahendran, but this does not ensure that these individuals can be repatriated expeditiously.
When questioned were raised about the status of Udayanga Weeratunge, the co-cabinet spokesperson responded by stating that the former President had promised to bring him back to the country and questioned why he is not doing so.
The Minister elaborated on the money trail left by the MIG deal as well. He noted that they have already identified 5 bank accounts in Dubai connected to the Rajapaksa family, a secretary, a chairman, and another MP. He noted that they have identified where the money went to in Singapore as well as in Hong Kong.
The Co-cabinet spokesperson noted that one bank account in Dubai contained $1,086mn. Senaratne also revealed that the bank account of the MP he spoke about earlier had over $500mn, while the joint account operated by the chairman and secretary that he spoke about had nearly $1,800mn.
When questioned about Nandana Lokuwithana and his connections to the Rajapaksa family, the minister stated clearly that Lokuwithana was not connected to the money that he was talking about. However, he did accept that Lokuwithana was involved with members of the Rajapaksa family in the contentious Dubai Marriot Hotel deal adding that it was a minister in the current government that offered him to run a tyre factory in Horana.